Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ateneo Women's Volleyball: That Game That Suddenly Got Exciting

That Game That Suddenly Got Exciting
Ateneo vs. NU
25-11, 25-11, 24-26, 25-16
words by rick olivares
roger pic by eddie ching
admu game pics by miggy mendoza

Roger Gorayeb thought it wasn’t one bit amusing.

When his Ateneo Lady Spikers are up against the upper echelon teams, they raise the level of their game. But when facing the lower seeded teams, they seem to have this misplaced overconfidence.

He’d rather that they be business-like and show no remorse in dispatching their foes because the opposition would readily do the same to them.

Even after all the years of coaching, losing is something longtime NU Coach Johnny Candoy cannot get used to. Hampered by the lack of funds and resources, he knows his team is every bit an underdog.

With the arrival of the Sys, he is clearly excited about the possibilities. When the new NU gym arises, his team can take comfort that they will finally have their own court that they do not have to share with the basketball team. And who knows, they might be able to land some blue chip recruits of their own.

His toughest job though is keeping his girls upbeat. “Losing is painful,” he said softly.

The first two sets went by quick as the Ateneo Lady Spikers behind a rejuvenated Kara Acevedo and Averil Paje made NU pay for their sloppy defense.

Gorayeb leaned back on his seat with a look of contentment as his team took a commanding two sets to none lead via twin 25-11 drubbings.

In the third set, it seemed Ateneo would go on its second consecutive sweep as they scored the first three points. Gorayeb sat down Bea Pascual and Fille Cainglet for long stretches. Aillysse Nacachi even got in some quality time in his first appearance of the season.

Candoy sued for time and angrily told his squad to receive better so they could better put the ball in play. “One good receive meron kayong chance para maganda yung palo,” he thundered.

His team behind Mervic Mangui, Lorie Simon, and libero Jenny Reyes suddenly dug in deep and did just that as they took the fight to Ateneo.

When NU scored on a kill to go up at 18-17, Gorayeb who was sitting at the edge of his seat, had seen enough and dispatched Pascual, Cainglet, and Angeline Gervacio back in the game. But it was too late. The Lady Bulldogs were in the fight.

Acevedo scored on a spike to tie the game at 24-all, but a Cainglet side out gave NU the set 26-24 and sent the game into an unlikely fourth set.

Ateneo immediately retook control of the fourth set but it wasn’t easy as NU fought and rallied every step of the way. This time, Ateneo, with their game faces back on, put away their pesky foes as Pascual ended the match 25-16 with her eighth point on a spike that Jenny Reyes was unable to dig.

Candoy had a smile on his face after the match. His team wasn’t expected to pick up a set from Ateneo but they did. And they created some anxious moments back there. They might have lost 3-1, but they have nothing to be ashamed of, he encouraged his squad.

Gorayeb exhaled as Pascual’s smash found an empty space of hardcourt. His team was now at 3-2 and the win was a nice way to end 2008 (the games are to resume come January 2009).

“Medyo naging exciting,” the coach sheepishly admitted as he scratched the back of his head. “Pero kita mo naman kapag gusto nila tapusin kaya nila.’

He took a moment to commend his players before he made his way back to the dugout (the team was leaving for Batangas that night for their Christmas Party and team building).

He wore a huge grin on his face.

No comments:

Post a Comment